Press-conference of the National Working Group of the Project “Civil G8 – 2006”. Press release
The main issues of the press-conference held in the Interfax premises 31 of May were the results of the unexampled meeting of NGOs with all G8 Sherpas, preparation of the International NGO Forum “Civil G8 – 2006”, possibility to influence the issues discussed by the G8.
Ella Pamfilova, the coordinator of the National Working Group, Serguei Tsyplenkov, director of Greenpeace-Russia, Igor Chestin, director of WWF-Russia, Leonid Grigoriev, President of the foundation “Institute for energy and finances”, Victoria Panova, Director of the Russian Project of the Toronto University G8 research group answered the questions of journalists.
The participants stressed that in May the NGO representatives had their second meeting with all Sherpas of G8, this time in semiofficial atmosphere. This meeting continued the tradition of the Canada and Great Britain presidency in 2003 and 2005.
The first meeting with the Sherpas was held within the NGO March Forum “Civil G8 – 2006”. During two meetings the representatives of the international civil community informed the officials of the leading countries about their opinion how to solve the existing problems and passed them strictly formulated recommendations.
While answering the question about the possibility to change the summit agenda Ella Pamfilova explained: “Our main task is to clarify the positions of NGOs on the issues being discussed by G8 leaders, to determine the most important issues for the civil society and to do all possible things for our voice could be heard and our recommendations could be taken into account”.
It is finally the main aim of the whole “Civil G8 – 2006” Project. For the first time the international human rights, ecological, educational and other civil organizations meet under such a format on the eve of the summit to clarify most important problems that the civil community is concerned about. And it is for the first time that the formula “Civil G8” appeared.
The fact of the recent Moscow meeting between the G8 Sherpas and the representatives of the international NGOs says a lot about the attention paid by the G8 to this initiative.
It extends chances to be heard at the summits and to influence the agendas for the interest of the world community in a quite civilized manner.
Of course the participants paid much attention to the international NGO Forum “Civil G8 – 2006”, which is to be held in Moscow in a month. As Ella Pamfilova mentioned the Project itself helped to increase the range of issues that the civil community is concerned about and to focus the NGO discussions not only at the G8 summit priorities, but also at such important issues as civil society development, human rights within fighting terrorism, social responsibility of business, poverty reduction and fighting the dissemination of AIDS.